Giggs ready to deputise for injured Carrick

August 7, 2006

Ryan Giggs is ready to answer another midfield SOS call from Manchester United.

When Sir Alex Ferguson found his squad decimated at the end of last season, he turned to Giggs to help stabilise the situation.

Now, with Michael Carrick injured and Paul Scholes facing the possibility of missing the opening game of the new campaign against Fulham on August 20 through suspension, Ferguson's midfield is again being ravaged.

Giggs believes the Old Trafford outfit are in far better shape to tackle the problem than they were 12 months ago. But, if Ferguson does call on the 32-year-old Wales skipper to fill the breach once more, he will be happy to accept the challenge.

'We have more options now because in addition to Paul Scholes coming back from injury and Michael Carrick arriving at the club, we also have John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher,' said Giggs.

'But if the manager asked me to go back in there I would do so and I would enjoy it, because I enjoyed it there last season.'

With Carrick certain to miss the visit of Chris Coleman's men after sustaining ankle ligament damage against Ajax on Saturday, only his second game since completing the £18.6million move north from Tottenham, Giggs seems certain to be handed a central-midfield role unless either Scholes avoids a ban or Ferguson is able to bring in more reinforcements.

The United boss claimed he was `confident' of landing at least one additional new signing within the next fortnight with Villarreal's Marcos Senna still being most heavily touted despite recent speculation which suggests Mahamadou Diarra and Franck Ribery could be back on the market.

For now, Ferguson must try to make the most of his available resources, which is set to provide a major cash boost to Conference outfit Oxford United tomorrow.

Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha, Gabriel Heinze and Mikael Silvestre are all pencilled in to face the side managed by Ferguson's old mate Jim Smith, while Cristiano Ronaldo could also play for United for the first time since his controversial World Cup escapades.

Giggs will probably not be involved having played an extensive part in United's pre-season campaign already. And he is acutely aware of the need for Ferguson to ensure the vast majority of his squad is battle-hardened for those testing early few weeks.

He added: 'We have a top-quality squad with a lot of options, which we will need because we must make a good start.

'It is plain for everyone to see that Chelsea have improved over the last couple of seasons.

'But we got closer to them last year and hopefully, we will get even closer this season.'